An Unknown Planet

“The planet before you is yet unamed,” Norse said slowly, “and I've managed to keep it that way for some time now.” The man seemed to be enticed with the hellish planet. What about it would attract a man like Norse, who owned the largest shipping industry in the galaxy? Surely he could get anything with the connections he had made. Curiosity maybe?

“Wonder what's on it?” Seth whispered idly.

“I would imagine dirt.” Seth let out a small cry at the sound of Till, who had somehow moved to the seat beside him without attracting attention. Jack and Joey, and even Dietrich, looked at Seth.

Joey shook his head, though. “Beats me,” he said, “about the planet I mean. What do you think Jack?”

The larger man just shook his head. “Hell if I know.”

They all turned back to the screen, where Norse was waiting for their attention once more. He didn’t seem annoyed in the least, though Seth thought he was the type of guy to hide any emotion well under that practiced smile. Bigwigs sure knew how to work people….

“And what's on this rock that you need so badly, eh?” The red-haired man said from his spot at the table. He seemed to be challenging Norse. Seth just sighed. He did not want to get caught in the crossfire…

“A speciment of ancient xeno technology that I want,” Norse replied with a mannered tone.

“Alien!?” Dietrich yelled out, “What the hell are you going after!” That… was a good question. Seth wondered what it was a man like Norse would want with some primitive Alien technology. Most of it that had been found since the Xeno discovery were things made on Earth hundreds of years ago, such as cutting tools and simple machines. Hell, the most advanced piece of Alien technology they had found was a lightbulb.

Norse smiled widely, though. “Mechs,” he said dramatically. “Forged by something long ago.  We know that they're there, but encountered some complications.” Seth nearly fell out of his seat. The Xeno had MECHS!?

The others did not react the same way, however. “What kind of complications, Mr. Norse?” Joey said simply. He really was more concerned with money than the odd mission details.

Seth sighed. Well, no use in questioning the unusual. Back in the day, aliens were considered fantasy. Why not alien mechs? “Yeah,” Seth said, trying to sound casual, “I don't want to do something impossible.” Well, that was truth.

Norse nodded to Seth. “It's rather simple actually, but renders me incapable of obtaining it,” the large man said, pulling out a bottle from somewhere under the table. Scotch? “There is a psychic barrier that activates planetary defense systems, but only for those who are explicitly searching for the machines.  We don't know why this was the method of defense selected, but it's easy to bypass when we have mercenaries who are doing this for the money, or other reasons.”

Seth felt himself grow cold. Planetary defense system? What in the hell were Xeno doing with one of those!? ‘Maybe… these aren’t the Xeno,’ Seth thought. It was entirely possible. Everyone just assumed the alien ruins they found were all Xeno. It was possible this planet was a different breed of alien.

Norse smirks at dietrich momentarily before turning to a questioning Joey.

“So you'd want us to disable that barrier or something?”

“If possible,” Norse said, pulling out several glasses. He started to pour himself one, then offered the others a glass. Everyone except Jack declined. Dietrich seemed to think it was poison. Norse then looked to Joey and continued. “Otherwise, you are to bring all the artifacts straight to me.”

“So go in, take out the field, grab the goodies, and skedaddle?” Jack said after slamming his now empty glass on the table, “Sounds like an easy job. I'll do it!” He let out a big laugh.

“I won't leave here unless I say yes,” Dietrich said with a sigh, his red hair moving as he shook his head.

“Indeed,” Norse said to the man, “And I'll be watching to make sure that you don't try to escape.  You will do this, and then we'll see how I feel about letting you run free again.” So, this Dietrich did something to anger the most powerful man in the galaxy outside of the Federation and now he was paying it off doing this mission. Before Dietrich could respond to Norse, he was gone. His guards stayed at the door he had gone through.

Smart man.

The End

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